Integrated Circuits and Systems

green blue gradient

Application-driven design of electronic circuits and systems in silicon and beyond-silicon nanotechnologies: digital, mixed-signal, low frequencies to mm-wave and THz. Incorporating nano-materials and MEMS devices for applications including logic, memory, interconnect, sensors, actuators, and discrete electronics for power conversion. Discovering and creating new devices and systems to provide solutions to societal challenges such as climate change, energy security, sustainable economic development, and better health care.

These are foundational technologies that modern information society is based on.


Integrated Circuits & Power Electronics: This area is concerned with the application-driven design of electronic circuits and systems, spanning a wide spectrum from low frequencies to mm-wave and THz. The research incorporates a variety of technologies, ranging from emerging nano and MEMS devices, nano-CMOS and BiCMOS processes, as well as discrete electronics for power conversion. The specific research thrusts include:

  • Mixed-signal integrated circuit design (data converters, sensor interfaces, imaging and selected areas of bio-instrumentation);
  • RF and mm-wave integrated circuit design (wideband communication systems, microwave and millimeter-wave imaging, phased arrays, integrated antennas);
  • Power electronics (switch-mode power converters, resonant converters; switched mode RF power amplifiers passive component design, converters using SiC and GaN at 10s of MHz, high voltage supplies, wireless power transfer systems, pulsed power applications, high voltage supplies, wireless power transfer systems, pulsed power applications);
  • Nanosystems (digital and analog circuits and systems) in silicon and beyond-silicon nanotechnologies and their integration, including aspects of design methodology, validation and test, reliability; approximate computing, and robust circuits and systems;
  • Silicon technology modeling both for digital and analog circuits, including optoelectronic/RF applications, bio-sensors and computer-aided bio-sensor design, wireless implantable sensors.

Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research: Research in the biomedical area utilizes engineering approaches to address the unmet needs in diagnosis, staging, treatment and mitigation of illnesses including cancer, diabetes, heart diseases as well as brain disorders. Lower-cost, prevention-oriented health care delivery is critically needed, as well as new approaches to previously untreatable health conditions.

Addressing these challenges requires discovering and creating fundamentally new devices and systems for critical diagnostics (sensors, imaging), therapeutic (lasers, pacemakers, and neural interfaces), and analytical (high-throughput sequencing, healthcare IT) technologies.

Descriptions of current interdisciplinary research in this area are provided in the following research subareas:


  • Biomedical Devices, Sensors and Systems
  • Photonics, Nanoscience and Quantum Technology
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Information Theory

NEMS/MEMS: Nano- and micro-electromechanical systems (NEMS/MEMS) are useful for applications ranging from chemical sensors and relays to logic devices. Examples include:

  • The design of MEMS accelerometers, gyroscopes, electrostatic actuators, and microresonators;
  • Interfacial engineering for NEMS/MEMS;
  • Biosensors, magnetic biochips, in vitro diagnostics, cell sorting, magnetic nanoparticles, spin electronic materials and sensors, magnetic inductive heads, and magnetic integrated inductors and transformers;
  • Flexible substrates for electronics, sensors, and energy conversion platforms;
  • Nanofabrication and nanopatterning technologies, including self-assembly for device fabrication.

Biomedical Imaging: Basic science questions, as well as clinical applications and translation in collaboration with investigators from the Stanford School of Medicine, are applied to a broad range of imaging technologies – from devices to systems to algorithms – for biomedical applications ranging from microscopy to whole-body diagnostic imaging and image-guided interventions. Examples include:

  • Optics,
  • Ultrasound,
  • Multiphysics approaches including photoacoustic and thermoacoustic imaging systems,
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • Computed tomography (CT),
  • Positron emission tomography (PET),
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),
  • Focused ultrasound surgery (FUS),
  • Differential 3-D Phase Contrast X-ray Imaging,
  • Image processing and understanding,
  • Image visualization and guided interventions (including mixed reality),
  • Electrophysiology and Imaging,
  • Computational microscopy.

Nanoelectronic Devices and NanoSystems: New and innovative materials, structures, process, and design technologies are explored for nanoelectronics, information technology, energy, environment, and biomedical applications. Examples include:

  • Machine learning, graph algorithms or graph analytics;
  • Silicon, germanium, and III-V compound semiconductor devices, metal gate/high-k MOS, and interconnects for nanoelectronics;
  • Device applications of new materials such as carbon (carbon nanotube, graphene), two-dimensional (2D) layered materials (e.g. MoS2, BN) oxide semiconductors, and topological materials;
  • Memory devices such as phase change memory, metal oxide resistive switching memory, ferroelectric memory, and magnetic memory;
  • New fabrication technologies for fabricating heterogeneous 3D integrated logic and memory devices at the nanometer regime;
  • Compact modeling, technology computer aided design, and ab initio modeling of electronic materials and devices;
  • Magnetic nanotechnologies and information storage.

Biomedical Devices, Sensors & Systems: Biological properties can be measured and altered using electronics, magnetics, photonics, sensors, circuits, and algorithms. Applications range from basic biological science to clinical medicine and enable new discoveries, diagnoses, and treatments by creating novel circuits, devices, systems, and analyses.

Examples include:

  • Measuring molecular concentrations
  • Measuring and altering activity of electrically-excitable cells such as neurons
  • Building implantable bio-sensors, bio-stimulators, and closed-loop delivery systems
  • Brain-machine interfaces
  • On-chip imaging and sensing
  • Photonic systems for in vivo imaging
  • DNA synthesis and sequencing
  • Nucleic acid synthesis, sequencing, and analysis
  • THz and differential phase contrast x-ray imaging
  • Wireless sensing and powering
  • Constructing low-cost devices for point-of-care medical applications
  • Designing new algorithms and systems for early cancer screening and detection